Building software to breakout of the filter bubble.

After the 2016 Presidential Election, I built a side project called Above the Fold, (www.abovethefold.io), the website automatically aggregates the top articles displayed on the home pages of a diverse set of 20 news outlets and provides a single view of all the headline news at the moment.

My decision to build Above the Fold, came after the 2016 US Presidential Election when I realized that I had become too reliant on Facebook as my primary source of news. While Facebook is a great platform for me to stay engaged with my…

Don’t Let Budget Be the Limiting Factor in Running an A/B Test

As a product manager, we are sometimes asked to do more with less. When it comes to AB testing, this is often perceived as something difficult thing to do, since many AB testing platforms like Optimizely, Optimize 360 and AB Tasty can cost a pretty penny, and most companies don’t have an army of data scientists on standby waiting to crunch the numbers for you.

However, many people don’t realize that there are many capabilities within Google Optimize’s free tier offering. If you find yourself wanting to run an AB Test, but are limited in the budget to invest in…

Healthcare is one of those things that until you’ve been fucked by the US healthcare system, you are probably too ignorant to understand how the different options would affect you

During the ABC News Democratic Presidential Debate, healthcare was a hot topic, and it seemed that the biggest rift was around whether users should keep the “Affordable Care Act” — maintaining private insurance while expanding a government option, or if we should get rid of private health insurance and just have one “Medicare for All” option.

I felt it was important for me to share my thoughts — because healthcare is one of those things that until you’ve been fucked by the US healthcare system, you are probably too ignorant to understand how the different options would affect you. …

Why we built the Google Analytics and Segment Helper Chrome Extension

Download VICE’s Google Analytics and Segment Helper Chrome Extension — here

When Google Analytics stops working, it’s an all hands on deck effort to figure out what happened. Are calls being made on the page? Is the metadata correct? Are the right events firing? At VICE we use Google Analytics to understand audience engagement across our digital properties, and we’ve had a few instances where we inevitably broke our Google Analytics setup.

It’s bound to happen, so as Google Analytics administrators we regression test each release, smoke test new…

TLDR — Without Net Neutrality, ISP’s can easily manipulate how quickly a web page loads. Just by adding 5 seconds to a media company’s page load time, a media company would lose approximately 15% of their traffic. For media companies that depend on advertising revenue, the 15% drop in traffic directly correlates to a 15% drop in revenue. Repealing Net Neutrality would make ISP’s media industry kingmakers.

Page load time is a critical metric that directly ties to a media company’s financial performance. …

We are only three months into 2017 and a recurring theme among publishers is that personalization is a “must-have” feature. Whether it’s inspiring an engaged reader, tailoring a newsletter, or making a chatbot more relevant in a conversation, personalization seems to be front and center in every conversation.

In this post, I’m going to outline some of the trends and underlying factors that have pushed personalization to the forefront.

User expectation has shifted for everyone

Recently, I was sitting on an airplane in front of this small DirectTV television screen, and I started channel-surfing, looking for something to watch during the flight. As I was flipping…

Getting started with personalization isn’t that scary

Over the last year, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting with several media companies across digital publishing and television verticals. As a recommendation systems company we frequently hear from CTOs stating that personalization is top strategic priority to increase user engagement, but when it comes to how to tactically implement personalization into their digital offerings they are often overwhelmed with the task at hand and believe personalization can not be achieved.

Often times these roadblocks are due to a few misconceptions, so to help separate fact from fiction, we pulled together the top 4 misconceptions around implementing personalization solutions.

Misconception…

Bringing news and personalization into a chatbot

This post is the first of a 2-part series around our experience building Vincent (@CognikBot), our company’s personalized news bot. This post covers why we built Vincent. The second post reviews our journey building him.

I’m extremely proud to announce the launch of Vincent, CogniK’s personalized news bot. Vincent is a bot developed on the Telegram messaging platform to allow users to select topics from current events and receive a personalized recommendation of the latest news topics that fit their preference. …

How we built a personalized news bot

This post is the second of a 2-part series around our experience building Vincent (@CognikBot), our company’s personalized news chatbot. This post focuses around the development process of building our first chatbot. The first post explained the product concept and why we decided to build a personalized news bot.

Because we are a company that has developed personalization platforms for major brands like MTV and Nickelodeon, we wanted to see if we could take our core personalization engine and plug it into a chatbot. And, because we were building this right around the US presidential election, we were keenly aware…

How machine learning can combat the rise of “Fake News”

So the election is over, and the American people are getting over their hangover. Regardless which side you supported, everyone would agree that social media played an unprecedented role in how news was disseminated to the masses. The traditional news cycle has been replaced by echo chambers that are reinforced by social media’s personalization algorithms.

While personalization is an amazing tool for presenting relevant content, prior to the election no one would have anticipated how factually incorrect or “fake news” would behave in an echo chamber.

Being a company that has dedicated significant time to personalization and machine learning, we…

George Jeng

Head of Internal Product at VICE. I’m fascinated by all things tech, and I love discovering and hearing about new products.

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